You may be somewhat surprised to find that the main front page headline of the Inner Mongolia Morning Post (内蒙古晨报) today is not an item of breaking news but an army recruitment article aimed at university graduates. The front page announces that 4,884 students from the “whole area” has recently signed up for the army, yet the article is not about them but only about one young man who always wanted to join the army but, because he first attended university, was too old to sign up when he graduated. Yet we are told in the article that the army recruitment age was raised this year to allow graduates to join up, and all you need to do is read this newspaper to find out what an amazing offer the army is putting out. University graduates, the army wants you.
Here’s how the article – front page headline news – begins, setting the appropriate tone:
Get priority when applying for a job, for political checks on your background, for getting final approval as soldier, and for getting a good posting – apart from these four areas where you’ll get preferential treatment, you’ll also get priority for promotion, compensation for your tuition fees and student loan, and a subsidy for returning to school. When university students retire from the army they can still in the same year sign up for a master’s degree, and will get ten extra points on their overall score in the preliminary exam…
With such an offer, who can refuse?! Not surprisingly, the article tells us that “with this policy of preferential treatment, numerous students are signing up in a hot streak.”
To put it all in some perspective, we now meet Ma Shuai (马帅), whose tale of persevering to realize his dream of joining the army can serve as an example for everyone. “With this policy of preferential treatment,” he says, “I don’t have to worry about getting a job…Joining the army has always been my dream, but as it happened I attended university and narrowly decided not to join the army.” So Ma went to the University of Inner Mongolia (interestingly, he studied music), graduated in 2011, and went to Beijing to do part-time work.
But something was always gnawing at him, Ma says. From the “depths of his heart”, Ma just wanted to join the army. So he went back to his home town of Hohhot, but found to his dismay that he was already too old for the army, and his dream was “thoroughly smashed to pieces.”
But not for long: this year the policy was changed to allow university graduates up to the age of 24 to sign up. Now, Ma could (“like many others”) finally realize his dream to be just like his dad, who was also an army man. As Ma “passionately” recounts: “I can become a responsible man like my father, a genuine man with unyielding character”.
If this headline article didn’t quite excite you enough, here’s some other tales from the Inner Mongolia Morning Post today that might be more interesting:
- Kid walks a thousand miles looking for his real dad (link)
- Man recites ancient books in Guinness World Record attempt (link)
- Boy starts a fire, killing self and father (link)